Comparison of Muslim and Christian Prayers
By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Husayn Vahid Khorasani
We will mention some examples of Christian worship in comparison with what we have mentioned about Islamic worship. The Bible says: And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (Matthew: 6)
We will discuss a few points from this prayer: It begins by addressing God with the word: Our father, in the heavens!
The application of the expression ‘father’ to God, if it is with realisation, then Exalted is Allah, the One, the Unique, the Needless, Who begets not, nor is He begotten. If it is anthropomorphism, then High is His Might that He be ascribed with human characteristics. In such a situation their prayers and worship would be for the created and not the Creator.
As for worship in Islam, then it is for Allah, the Exalted, Who has nothing whatsoever like unto Him. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing; thus, the intellect does not deny Him recognition. He cannot be anthropomorphised with His creation.
After this praise for God, we see that the Christian prayer teaches him to ask for the bread for his body which is like grass for the body of an animal.
A Muslim, however, after praising his Lord in his prayer, seeks the light of vision in his wisdom so that he may find the right path to move to the purpose of his creation and the success in the way of his goal: Keep us on the right path. Thus, there is not any treasure more noble and precious than guidance which is the perfection of the human being. There is no path to the goal more fair, more right and nearer than the right path. And there is no goal higher and above Allah, the Blessed and Exalted.
The Christians do not forgive the people who have committed sins against them, nor do they forgive loans to people. Then how can they say this prayer, because with the words: as we also have forgiven our debtors; they would be lying in their prayers. Based on logic, lying is one of the evil acts and according to divine laws it is one of the major sins. Nearness to Allah is not possible through evil deeds and serving Him through sins. Repenting by sinning is another sin.
This short comparison between Islamic prayers and the prayers of other faiths is sufficient.